Justification of Actions

Justification of Actions - Sammy Shapiro Harmony Jankowski...

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Sammy Shapiro Harmony Jankowski English W131 April 24, 2008 Excuses Excuses He is frustrated, yet placid, anxious, yet self-assured, powerful, and yet weak. Anton Chigurh’s face displays each one of these traits simultaneously as his right hand slams a quarter down onto the counter of a Texaco gas station. His frustration is due to the clerk’s baffled manner and simple-minded responses, yet his placidity comes from an acquired patience and the expectation that the man will be confused. His anxiety stems from the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the coin toss, yet his self-assurance comes from a trust that the coin will make the right decision. His power is derived from his masculine physique and commanding nature, yet his weakness is due to his concept of fate having overtaken him. He is inclined to kill this man; he will kill this man, but only should the coin permit him to do so. She too is frustrated, though she does not wish to hide her emotions. Her expression turns to disgust and eventually to anger at the sight of her husband returning to her empty-handed, wearing the face of a man who has failed his wife. Ed takes no pity on her husband. She wants a baby, and all the excuses in the world won’t change her mind. After all (as Mrs. Arizona had said in the paper), the Arizona family has more babies “than they could handle,” and the infertile Ed has every right to take one for herself. Chigurh, the murderous antagonist in the film No Country For Old Men , is a
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prisoner to his belief that actions which society have deemed black and white (at least as far as the law is concerned [i.e., murder with intent]) actually fall into a gray area in which fate and justification of said actions come into play. Ed, the kidnapping co- protagonist from a separate Coen Brothers’ film, Raising Arizona , has succumbed to her desire for a child and a proper family and, being that she is unable to produce a child of her own, has resorted to abducting one of the celebrated Arizona quintuplets. Each film stakes the claim that its characters’ actions are not justifiable or excusable, despite the fact that each character has managed to create rationale for his/her actions. However, many great thinkers could argue the films’ claims and find a way to not only sympathize with the characters, but also a way to plead their cases, perhaps concluding that these
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ENG-W 131 taught by Professor Neal during the Spring '08 term at Indiana.

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Justification of Actions - Sammy Shapiro Harmony Jankowski...

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